The 33 day challenge

I’ve been on a lot of diets in my life.

I start them feeling psyched up and confident, thinking ‘this is it! This is the one. In a few months I’ll have a figure like a twenty-something Elle Macpherson instead of a sea-cow’.

elle-macpherson1But it never seems to happen like that. I diet hard for a few weeks but then I start dreaming of cake. I  find myself in Sainsbury’s staring fixedly at the bakery counter, fantasising about stuffing a whole cream and raspberry jam pastry puff into my mouth. I start feeling sorry for myself and then I wonder if being skinny is worth the hassle. Then invariably I come to the conclusion that actually, it’s not.


I’m not a naturally skinny person. I was when I was 12, before I grew tits and hips on a body that constantly defies my lack of maternal instinct. Now all I can do is look back at photos of myself as a carefree, waifey 12-year-old and feel weirdly jealous.

It’s my one neurosis. In other areas of my life I think I’m fairly grounded, but when it comes to food and my body, I become wildly insecure and a little bit annoying.

But I’m back here again. At the beginning of a diet. It’s because I’m 25 in a month. As untrue as I know it is, I kind of feel this is my last chance to do it. To get that lean Elle Macpherson torso before my metabolism grinds to a halt and I have to start worrying about wrinkles and grey hair on top of everything else. Unless I also get Elle Macpherson’s incredible ability to stay looking 25 forever.

I’ve named it the ’33 day challenge’. It’s an experiment as much as a weight-loss initiative. My body genuinely baffles me. I exercise as much as I can and as much as I love food, I don’t go over-board too often. But the formula for weight loss is simple: burn more than you consume. As I’m not losing or putting on weight, I must be working off exactly what I eat. So in order to lose weight, I’ve got to reduce the amount (or adjust the type) of food I eat.

The 33-day challenge is really simple. I eat more protein, drink more water, eliminate ‘bad food’ (all cakes/cookies/crisps etc.) and reduce complex carbs like pasta and bread. I’ve also added a quick workout to my morning routine (120 sit-ups).

If you are actually interested then you can see my daily food and exercise diary here. It’s just lists but if you’re on a diet too I guess it’s interesting to see what other people eat.

The challenge will take me up to my birthday on 12 June (I’m already 3 days in). Let’s see if it works!! (It probably won’t)

Published by Zoe

28 years old, trained journalist, professional writer and aspiring novelist. I'm based in the beautiful English town of Eastbourne, I have two guinea pigs who live in my spare room, and I love food. Not cooking it, just eating it. I also like beer and staring out to sea.

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